The development of technology has brought irreversible changes in the media world. The digitalisation of daily life has forced irreversible changes in the approach to PR activities. Today‘s media is divided into the traditional media (high quality journalism), user generated media (whole user generated content on the Internet) and automated content delivery systems (content aggregators). The boundaries between them are very fine.
Nowadays we try to automate almost every aspect of our business activity which is based on contact with the client – starting from sales, through marketing and customer service.
There is one exception. It is extremely hard to automate Public Relations – activity based on building and maintaining relations. PR is more art than mathematics. That is why the traditional PR supporters say that it is impossible to automate PR. In the traditional meaning it is true but sooner or later – in the world of media covergence – PR professionals will have to adopt some automation methods in some of their daily activities. They will have to find some more mathematical mechanisms that will give them a sense of control over these activities and make them more effective at the end of the day. PR automation should be started from testing CRM solutions dedicated to communications.
These kinds of tools allow PR professionlas to create processes that will be particularly useful for PR teams.
CRM systems not only help to organize daily tasks, but also to provide data about the effectiveness of our distribution in the media – both traditional and user generated.Let’s try to analyze it by using examples. PR people mostly keep their contact databases in Excel sheets. The first challenge – while working in a team – is to find the most current version of the document on the disk. The second one is to create and manage advanced knowledge about the media in an Excel document. CRM tools are not only a perfect solution for teamwork but also help to build knowledge about journalists and opinion leaders. Furthermore, by providing data about the history of mailings, they help to analyze media relations’ effectiveness. That kind of know-how becomes one of the most valuable assets of PR teams in agencies and companies.Press releases are often created in Word documents. Their visual appeal is strongly limited. CRM tools have features to create beautiful press releases on landing pages.
Journalists do not receive attachments on their mailboxes, but only a link to the landing page with the press release and other high res materials possible to download.
Thanks to the link system PR professionals also receive detailed statistics of mailings. Landing pages have one more advantage – they can be used in communication in various channels. Thanks to SEO optimization PR people can affect the visibility of landing pages in Google search and build their reach in the social media thanks to social plug-ins.PR professionals are used to distributing press releases by e-mail clients (f.e. Outlook). However, it takes too much time. CRM tools have a feature to distribute personalize e-mails to an unlimited number of recipients with one click. Through detailed analysis of mailings PR people can also analyze their effectiveness as well as different types of CTA (Call to action). Mailing automation gives a lot of advantages and above all, provides the data necessary to increase the effectiveness.These three above-mentioned examples show only some of the opportunities provided by CRM tools for PR pros. CRM software is a growing trend in the Public Relations industry.